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Lentil ‘Meat’ Balls [Vegan]

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When I made the Lentil “Meat” Balls, I served them with brown rice pasta with a simple marinara sauce. But we had so many left over, that the next time we ate them, we changed it up completely and served them with mashed potatoes and gravy. Equally scrumptious!

Lentil 'Meat' Balls [Vegan]

This Recipe is :

Dairy Free Vegan






  • 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking spray or oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs or corn flake crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 3 tablespoon gluten-free vegan worcestershire sauce or 2 tablespoons soy sauce plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon each paprika, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour plus 2 tablespoons water


  1. Prepare the marinara sauce. Combine the flax seed and the warm water in a mug or small bowl. Mix and let stand for 10 minutes until it becomes a gel. This is your binder.
  2.  Prepare the lentils. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the lentils and a pinch of salt and return to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Let cool and move the lentils to a food processor. Process them until they are smooth.
  3.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté them for about 4 minutes until translucent. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté about 5 minutes until the veggies are tender. Allow to cool.
  4.  Add the veggies to the lentils in the food processor. Add the Worcestershire sauce, parsley and spices. Add the flax gel to the lentil mixture and process until smooth. Transfer the lentil mixture to a large bowl.
  5.  Add the bread crumbs, ¼ cup at a time, to the lentil mixture and mix with your hand. The best way to mix it is wet your hands and use one hand (keep the other hand clean) to gently mix the crumbs into the lentils. You will probably need more crumbs so add another ¼ cup and mix it again. You want the consistency to feel firm, like it will hold up as a meatball. If it feels too moist, add the last ¼ cup of bread crumbs. Usually, I end up using the whole cup of crumbs.
  6.  Put the lentil mixture into the fridge for about 30 minutes. Take the bowl out of the fridge and using a spoon, scoop up some of the lentil mixture and roll it into a ball with your hands. It should be the size of a golf ball. Roll it until it feels sturdy. Place it on a plate and continue making meatballs until you use up all the lentil mix.
  7.  Heat the remaining Tbs. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lentil meatballs to the skillet and fry them. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to fry them in batches. Make sure the meatballs brown on all sides. The way I do this is to pull the skillet back and forth by the handle which makes the meatballs roll around. I find this covers all the sides better than trying to turn them with a utensil. When they are browned, transfer the meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate.
  8.  Gently add the lentil meatballs to the simmering marinara sauce. Let them cook, on a low heat, about 10 minutes until they are heated through. Serve with pasta or in a sandwich.






When Rhea became vegan, there were no places in her Bronx neighborhood to eat so she had to learn to cook, mostly by watching TV cooking shows, especially Christina Pirello and Rachael Ray.  That led to the creation of The "V" Word website which focuses on vegan versions of favorite, familiar foods. Rhea has written several e-cookbooks which are available on her web site. It is Rhea's hope that she can spread the "V" Word to bring more compassion into the world and it is her dream to become the vegan Rachael Ray.



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52 comments on “Lentil ‘Meat’ Balls [Vegan]”

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AHIT NEBTHET Rebecca Morgan
1 Years Ago

In the process of making this dish and it's already blowing minds in my household. Love it it's going to be delicious

Karen Hunt
1 Years Ago

see above

Karen Hunt
1 Years Ago

update, found same recipe on her blog, but definitely different instructions, such as no food processor. No wonder mine turned out all mushy! Also better instructions as to how to use all of the ingredients. See http://thevword.net/2011/06/extreme-vegan-makeover-lentil-meat-balls-edition.html. Now I have to figure out what to do with this big bowl of "mush". I guess it will be soup

Karen Hunt
1 Years Ago

see previous

Karen Hunt
1 Years Ago

I agree, the instructions are incomplete. Don\'t waste your money and time making these until instructions are more complete. I have a bowl of mush that would no way turn into meatballs. What are you supposed to do with the zucchini and chickpea flour?

3 Years Ago

Bread crumbs again.

3 Years Ago

I bit confused with the instructions as some of the ingrediests show up on the list but never in the steps. Could you fix it so we can have an accurate recipe? I don\'t see a respose from you to any of the comments.

3 Years Ago

I made this last night and although they tasted fine, they were nowhere near solid enough to roll into anything. Also, the recipe is missing some information: zucchini is in the ingredient list but never shows up in the instructions. I assumed it needed to be sauteed and blended with the rest of the veggies, but the resulting mush was so wet that i wonder if there were too many veggies. Also, where does the chickpea flour come in? Again, on the ingredient list but not in the instructions. I finally added oats to the mush in an effort to give it some substance. I definitely wouldn\'t make this again.

4 Years Ago

you have some great recipes! but have yet to figure out how to print them out! that\'s a drag.

4 Years Ago

These sound yummy, but the directions seem incomplete to me.

In step 5, are we meant to let the balls rest *before* frying them, or after? Refrigerate them before or after frying? If after, what\'s the best way to reheat? How long should I fry them? Are the steps in "Another Lentil \'Meat\' Ball Variation" mislabeled, and meant to be a continuation of the original instructions? (It seem so.)

Aside from that: Do they freeze well? If so, should they be frozen before or after cooking?


22 Sep 2014

Amy, In steps 5-7, it says to mix up the lentils, veggies, then refrigerate, then to fry. I am wondering if your computer perhaps didn\'t load the site correctly bc the recipe seems complete to me. So maybe it just didn\'t load it right for you?
I would also like to know if they freeze well bc it would be easier to make a large batch and freeze some for later than to try to make them fresh every time. Does One Green Planet ever answer readers\' questions???

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